Fernando Gaviria (Etixx-QuickStep) and Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEdge) are two of the latest riders to be confirmed for next month’s Tour de Suisse. The pair joins World Champion Peter Sagan, Rui Costa, and Fabian Cancellara, who were confirmed as starters last week.
For Gaviria, it will be his debut at the week-long stage race after turning professional earlier this season. Gaviria has already lived up to the promise that earned him that professional contract with three victories so far this season, including one at Tirreno-Adriatico. The Tour de Suisse will be his first competition in months as he has not raced since his sixth place at Gent-Wevelgem at the end of March.
Matthews is making his second consecutive appearance after a relatively successful debut at the race last year. The Australian beat Sagan to take stage 4 before calling it quits ahead of the following day’s stage. Matthew’s build-up to the race is somewhat different after he chose to skip the Giro d’Italia this season.
Also added to the Tour de Suisse line-up are BMC teammates Philippe Gilbert and Samuel Sanchez. Gilbert has had a rough few weeks after breaking his finger ahead of the Ardennes Classics. He had been set to ride the Giro d’Italia but was forced to skip it with the finger injury still lingering. Cobbled classics contenders Zdenek Stybar (Etixx-QuickStep), and Jurgen Roelandts (Lotto-Soudal) are also among the names released by the organisers on Monday morning.
Benat Intxausti (Team Sky) and Robert Gesink (LottoNL-Jumbo) have been added to the list of general classification contenders, joining Andrew Talansky, Rui Costa, and Mathias Frank. For Intxausti, the race will provide a chance to prove himself ahead of the Tour de France. There may be some internal competition for the Basque rider, with last year’s second place finisher, Geraint Thomas expected to return.
Gesink is a former stage winner at the Tour de Suisse, taking victory on the queen stage in 2010. His best overall finish was fourth in 2012, and he took ninth in the GC at last year’s race.
Giant-Alpecin will send a strong line-up to the race with Laurens ten Dam, Warren Barguil and Simon Geschke all confirmed starters. Geschke will be hoping to turn his fortune around before the Tour de France after a tricky spring campaign that ended with him having surgery to have a plate on his collarbone removed.
Barguil should be the team’s GC leader, after taking 12th last season but ten Dam will be a viable second option for the German-registered squad. The two riders will take different approaches to the race with ten Dam set to race the Tour of California while Barguil has been away from racing since Liege-Bastogne-Liege.
The Tour de Suisse is due to start from Baar on June 11.